April 24, 2019 / 1:59 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-SoftBank Group looks to buy 5 pct of payment firm Wirecard -Bloomberg

(Adds SoftBank response, FT Wirecard reports)

April 23 (Reuters) - Japan's SoftBank Group Corp is looking to acquire a 5 percent stake in German payments company Wirecard AG, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

SoftBank has engaged financial advisers and is working on a deal to acquire bonds that can be converted into Wirecard shares, Bloomberg here reported, citing sources.

A deal could be announced as early as this month, if an agreement is reached, the report added.

SoftBank declined comment on the matter when contacted by Reuters while Wirecard was not immediately available for comment.

The investment talks come as Wirecard defends itself against Financial Times newspaper reports earlier this year saying staff at its Asian operations had inflated reported revenue.

Last month, Wirecard said an outside law firm investigating the matter found local staff at its Singapore office may have committed crimes but these were not material to the German payment company's financial position.

Reporting by Mekhla Raina in BENGALURU; Additional reporting by Supriya Roy in BENGALURU; Editing by Tom Brown and Christopher Cushing

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